ECCC Reparations

This blog is designed to serve as a repository of analyses, news reports and press releases related to the issue of RERAPATIONS within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a.k.a. the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The International Herald Tribune/Associated Press's Frivolous Use of the Term 'Genocide'


Stan Starygin

The International Herald Tribune (IHT)/Associated Press (AP)'s article below is an interesting, although unfortunately not unique, example of the use of term 'genocide' by the international press. In this article the IHT/AP refers to Kang Kech Iev (alias Duch)who since recently has been detained by the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)on an ECCC Co-Investigating Judges' provisional detention order.

The detention order (31 July 2007) refers to an earlier charge of crimes against humanity levied upon Kang Kech Iev by the Military Tribunal of Phnom Penh and grounded in the 2004 Law on the ECCC (KRT Law). The detention order in question does not bear any reference or mention of a genocide charge levied upon Kang Kech Iev. Furthermore, thus far, there has been no viable anecdotal evidence of the ECCC's Co-Prosecutors' intention to charge Kang Kech Iev with genocide, for which there is likely to be a lack of foundation based upon the currently available evidence.

Therefore, it is a tenable view to maintain that, as of today, there is no reason to believe that Kang Kech Iev is likely to be prosecuted for genocide (by its definition in the 1949 Convention on Prevention and Punishment for the Crime of Genocide), which means that the use of the term 'genocide trials' by IHT/AP in reference to Kang Kech Iev's case is unwarranted at best (although the article in question later does refer to crimes against humanity as grounds for Duch's current ECCC detention, it continues using the terms 'genocide' and 'crimes against humanity' interchangeably).

Isn't it about time the international press started using the correct language of law when reporting on legal events and developments?


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